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Rewrite – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「Philosophyz」 by 水谷瑠奈 (Mizutani Runa)

「青春が始まる場所」 (Seishun ga Hajimaru Basho)
“Where Youth Begins”

Last week I was talking about how Rewrite wasn’t starting like a typical visual novel adaptation, muddying its common route portion somewhat, but this week it seems to have swerved back into the usual swing of things. So it’s somewhat more stable now, but also more generic, so I’m sure it’s going to produce some mixed feelings. Before I go on, though, perhaps I should explain the usual visual novel story structure first, for those who have never read one, though if you’ve at least seen some of the adaptations you probably have a rough idea anyway.

A lot of visual novels like Rewrite start linear, before the story begins to branch out, usually with each branch featuring a different character as protagonist. Thus the linear portion is called the ‘common’ route, and is usually heavy on slice-of-life and comedy. The purpose is to introduce the characters and some key conceits of the plot, and also to establish a comfortable status quo, so that when that status quo is inevitably disrupted in one of the later story branches it will produce drama. And so in this episode, very much a ‘common route episode’, is mostly a string of sketches, giving each major character a little screen time to show off whatever personality or chemistry they can manage to display. It’s also a good chance to establish everybody’s leitmotif; a lot of these Key visual novels are quite literally melodrama and carried heavily by the music, so each major character gets a musical theme. There’s a lot of personality in those as well, so it’s good to see 8bit keeping those around. In fact, it would be the height of folly for the adaptation team to not tap into Rewrite‘s rich soundtrack. I would have liked for them to have gone one further and rearranged some pieces for their anime purposes, but I suppose that may be too much to ask. They’re faithful, I suppose? The OP is the same as the VN’s, though the ED is from Harvest Festa, the sequel/fandisc; make of those choices what you will.

What we get in this episode, seems to be a very condense version of Rewrite‘s common route. Common routes are often very long, and Rewrite makes no exception. That’s to be expected since, again, it’s to establish to status quo. An anime adaptation, though, has limited air time and probably can’t afford that length, and has to make adjustments. Rewrite: the anime‘s adjustments seems to be going very, very fast. Each individual character sketch, if we are to keep calling them that, are mostly fine and in some cases actually fairly well executed. But tying each scene to the next is a different matter. It’s almost like Rewrite could not afford proper transitions, and is forced to just move on at times. Many cuts are sudden and haphazard. It’s an issue I had with Grisaia no Kajitsu (same director) as well, which is a bit worrisome, but I do understand that the anime is pressed for time, and has to just get stuff done. And so when the entire harem (or rather, alternate OTP candidates) are assembled in one club in short order, something a less hurried anime would do over several episodes, it is regrettable but understandable. Hopefully this truncation means they are going to put extra effort into the meat of story down the line.

I’ve always been of the opinion, though, that common routes—the introductory, mood-setting stuff—are vitally important. Sure, it’s the big payoff at the end that people remember, but setting up for the fireworks takes more effort than exploding them. Rewrite also does another particular thing with its long common route: it uses it to build paranoia. Last week I noted the surreal nature of Rewrite, and about not being sure about what is real and what is a dream, and Rewrite the visual novel does build on that in its common route. Sure, it was never intensely psychological, but it does play with it. As the Occult Research Club goes searching for the supernatural one is never exactly sure how supernatural anything is. Most notably, we never actually see the hungry ghost until a while later. It’s no secret that the anime is going to be deviating from the visual novel, though, so it’s hard to judge the net effect of these changes right now.

Considering how fast last week’s madness was dismissed, though, perhaps we really shouldn’t be thinking too hard about the supernatural stuff. Come, let us indulge in youth and friendship and all that healthy jazz instead. Oh, and of course, breasts. If there’s on thing I can say with certainty about Rewrite, it’s that the entire thing was a quest for Akane’s breasts. As it should be.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「ささやかなはじまり」 (Sasayaki na Hajimari) by Mizutani Runa (水谷瑠奈)

July 10, 2016 at 10:44 am
20 comments »
  • July 10, 2016 at 11:13 amSarcastic-sama

    Food for thought:
    *The free coffee sign reads: “hiiko” instead of “kohii” for whatever reason (maybe because it’s not actual coffee? XD”
    *The breast thing also happens in the VN and its the starting point for the “oppai route” which is glorious if you manage to trip all the flags required for it. (I doubt we’ll have an oppai route for the anime, though it would be hilarious if they did.)
    *Aside from the ending song, there’s also a few Harvest Festa tracks thrown in for good measure. It’s likely we’ll have a harvest festa episode (perhaps the 13th) Also, IIRC, the newspaper girl is a HF character.

    • July 10, 2016 at 4:13 pmSK

      Newspaper girl was an important side character in the original Rewrite VN, she just never got a sprite until HF. Oppai route was glorious, but trying to get everything required without a walkthrough was a pain. I could definitely see it as an OVA though.

  • July 10, 2016 at 11:53 amCroos

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 10, 2016 at 12:54 pmreader30891

    >Considering how fast last week’s madness was dismissed

    I don’t think that was dismissed because
    Show Spoiler ▼

    BTW in next episode we are going to have “a Dandy man, a handsome butler and a guy with a carefree attitude.”

  • July 10, 2016 at 2:15 pmFallenRock

    As an anime only viewer I am extremly confused as to what happened in the first episode but they have an interesting, albeit seemingly rushed, take on comedy in this show. So that’s one of the things that keep me coming back for more.
    i.e.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    That had me dying!

  • July 10, 2016 at 2:58 pmdaikama

    Anime only viewer here and quick question to those who played the VN (or know about it). How much of this revolves around the supernatural part? Asking because as it stands, that’s the main draw for me with this show. If it’s a big part of the story, and we are just getting to that now that the setup is done (or mostly done) – fine. If it’s more “garnish than main dish”, then not sure I want to stick with this. Not asking for a bunch of spoilers here, just trying to get a feel for the focus of the show.

    Thanks.

    • July 10, 2016 at 4:04 pmZannafar

      It’s impossible to give a definite answer to this question at this point since the anime has a lot of original scenes.

      It will depend on how much of the VN’s common route they will cover and how much more 8bit will mix events around. The common route doesn’t have many supernatural events and even the few that happen are a bit more subtle and mysterious. The first big supernatural event happens at the end of the common route and that’s the point where the supernatural becomes important.

      Compared with that, the first episode of the anime already included things that don’t show up until much later, or even only on certain routes (Kagari’s face, Gil and Pani, the big monster, etc.).

      • July 10, 2016 at 4:46 pmdaikama

        @Zannafar: Thanks. I understand that adaptation is a wild card – who knows what’s included and what’s not on top of possibly anime only stuff. Haven’t played a ton of VNs, but played enough to where I get the branching mechanics. The fact that there’s not much in the early “common route” (typically a lot of setup/world-building) doesn’t surprise me. Just wasn’t sure overall how much the supernatural element plays a role in the overall story vs. say SOL/comedy/romance for xyz’s route.

        If I understand you correctly, once past the “common route” stuff, the supernatural part ramps up considerably and is a major component of the story. Maybe not next episode, but it seems is fairly safe to assume that the supernatural aspect will be brought to the forefront going forward. I’ll stick with this for another episode or two and see how it goes.

  • July 10, 2016 at 3:01 pmFabio

    Tomoko best girl.

  • July 10, 2016 at 4:43 pmSK

    For those who are anime only viewers: the strange events of the first episode were things that happened throughout the common route and later in the character routes. I wouldn’t expect the high frequency of those to return until later, though I can’t say for certain since this adaptation isn’t strictly following the VN. The common route did a nice job of balancing the SoL hijinks with brief stretches of weird, and it wasn’t always as blatant as the first episode showed, sparking a sense of mystery. It doesn’t help that Kotarou can be weird at times, making it difficult to see if something was real or his imagination.

    Various thoughts:
    Gotta be careful who you make shady deals with, or else you might end up with an anvil over your head.
    Kotarou has some weird dreams, but Tomoko!!!
    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    Show Spoiler ▼

    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%20-%20ED%20-%20Large%2006.jpg
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 10, 2016 at 7:48 pmThe Last Idiot

    The OP Show Spoiler ▼

    . And I dont know what to say… The pacing is OK but there’s also a feeling that it was fast. Not rushed, but too fast.

    • July 10, 2016 at 9:10 pmThe Last Idiot

      Forgot to add that spoiler tag so thank you for adding it

    • July 11, 2016 at 4:27 amOne Pinch Man

      The OP gives us hint about Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 10, 2016 at 8:14 pmBirdGang

    I suppose I am spoiled on the character card styled OP’s from previous shows, but this is easily the most unimpressive and disjointed OP I’ve seen for a Key anime yet.

    • July 10, 2016 at 10:50 pmSarcastic-sama

      It’s not a bad OP. It’s just weirdly done.
      It’s kinda hard to make a decent OP without spoiling anything. So for me this was expected.
      If we ever get a second season and more material is covered, they will be able to make a better OP.
      This one tries to conceal a bunch of things and ends up weird, and even so, it’s a giant spoiler.
      Actually… everything in Rewrite is a walking spoiler…

  • July 11, 2016 at 4:32 amsama

    This anime sure bring back memories. CG, BGM, Yoshino…Just don’t become Amagami, pls.

  • July 11, 2016 at 6:47 amSnooSnoo

    Didn’t they say Romeo is rewriting (heh) Rewrite and the anime will be based on it and not the original?

    • July 11, 2016 at 8:40 amPasserby

      I don’t think Tanaka Romeo is rewriting Rewrite (heh), per se, but I do know that there is going to be a Rewrite+ VN, which has some new content as well as including Harvest Festa. In any case, by my understanding this anime covers a ‘sixth route’, and Tanaka is being consulted on the script.

  • July 11, 2016 at 1:16 pmKailord

    That 2nd Shikigami death scene!
    I laughed so hard I couldn’t breath!

  • July 20, 2016 at 12:51 pmillusion

    I haven’t laughed this much to a anime episode in a while, the jokes were spot on. Also the VAs for Shizuru and Kotori are 10/10 moe af.